tv PBS News Hour PBS November 15, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: a state supreme court judge rejected a bid by occupy wall street protesters to bring their tents and sleeping bags back to a new york park, after being evicted overnight. good evening. i'm jeffrey brown. >> warner: and i'm margaret warner. on the newshour tonight, we get two views on striking a balance between the activists' right to protest and city officials' concerns about public health and safety. >> brown: then we update the congressional gridlock over reducing the deficit with eight days to go and no sign of a deal. >> warner: we get the latest on the penn state scandal, as the former defensive coach denies the sex abuse charges and as new allegations emerge. >> brown: betty ann bowser reports on the lack of access to dental care, a problem that affects millions of americans.
>> there's about 170,000 dentists in the country. the problem is they're not distributed evenly in relationship to the population. >> warner: ray suarez examines the state of play for professional basketball, as players and league officials agree on one thing: the entire season could be wiped out. >> brown: and we close with the story of john brown's raid on harper's ferry, as told in a new book by author tony horwitz. >> i think brown is still with us. he worries us. what do we do with this home grown american terrorist? to him slavery is a state of war and has to be met in kind. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> oil companies make huge profits. >> last year, chevron made a lot of money. >> where does it go? >> every penny and more went into bringing energy to the world.
>> the economy is tough right now, everywhere. >> we pumped $21 billion into local economies, into small businesses, communities, equipment, materials. >> that money could make a big difference to a lot of people. intel. the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: the city of new york routed anti-wall street protesters from their campsite early today. hours later, city officials won
a court ruling that backed up their move. it happened around 1:00 this morning. hundreds of new york city police officers in full riot gear moved into zuccotti park, where the national occupy wall street movement started in september. they ordered the protestors to clear out. many did so. but others resisted. >> we had no idea that the cops would raze this place tonight. they're taking over everything and we're not leaving. >> brown: the police began arresting those who had chained or roped themselves to trees. police commissioner ray kelly said some 200 people were arrested. they included one new york city council member and several journalists. officers also tore down and hauled away tents and camping supplies and city sanitation workers tossed them into garbage and dump trucks. the park was empty by 4:30 a.m. and sensation workers then used power washers to
clean the plaza. >> make no mistake the final decision to act was mine and mine alone. >> brown: at city hall new york mayor michael bloomberg defended the raid. he said health and safety conditions at the camp in lower manhattan had become, quote, intolerable. >> from the beginning i've said that the city has two principal goals: guaranteeing public health and safety and guaranteeing the protesters' first amendment rights. but when those two goals clash the health and safety of the publish and our first responders must be the priority. >> brown: bloomberg said the plan was simply to clean zuccotti park and let people back in to protest only and not to camp. >> the first amendment gives every new yorker the right to speak out. but it does not give anyone the right to sleep in a park or otherwise take it over to the exclusion of others. protesters have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags. now they will have to occupy
the space with the power of their arguments. >> brown: lawyers for the protestors immediately got a court order to block those restrictions but the park remains surrounded by police barricades and officers while a state court judge heard arguments over the issue. ultimately he upheld the city's ax ruling demonstrators could protest in the park but not camp there. as the day went on, many of the protestors staged a march and gathered in nearby followy square. >> occupy wall street. >> brown: others massed on the sidewalks around zuccotti park. >> they tried to evict us from the park. you can't evict an idea. we're going to continue our movement regardless of what our billionaire mayor tries to do to us. >> brown: the new york sweep came two day shy of the anniversary of the occupy wall street movement. it struck the movement at a critical time as occupy encampments have come under fire in several other cities. early on monday police in oakland california conducted a
similar raid on a tent city there, resulting in more than 50 arrests. displaced members of occupy oakland joined in a teach-in today at the university of california at berkeley. police in portland oregon conducted their own weekend raid, driving out hundreds of anti-wall street demonstrators both for public health and safety concerns. we look at the legal arguments involved in the new york protests with daniel alterman, an attorney in private practice, and one of the lawyers representing the occupy wall street protestors. and james copland, also an attorney, and director of the center on legal policy at the manhattan institute, a public policy think tank. daniel alterman, i'll start with you. this was not the decision you wanted. what's your reaction? first of all let me say i'm a resident of lower manhattan. i work in lower manhattan. i support the 99% of the protestors. i'm not put off by the issues in this case. as a matter of fact we think the first amendment covers it. we think that mayor bloomberg,
by attempting to displace the protestors and the occupiers at 1:00 at night proves our point. and furthermore, i think that we won a victory. then we lost a victory. but you can't stop an idea. and the idea that wall street is unfair and that the economy is broken needs to be fixed will be more and more apparent in the days to come. this is only a slight hiccup or a bump in the road. i think the people are here to stay. >> brown: james cop land, what was the legal argument behind the judge's decision? >> well, the basic argument was that there's clearly a first amendment right to protest in this park, zuccotti park or other public forums or limited public forums but that doesn't extend to a trite to just sort of set up shop there, ignore all health and safety regulations and basically claim this land that's
privately owned land set aside for a public use for your own and make it your own home. you can go camping in yellowstone park. that doesn't mean that you can just camp out there indefinitely whenever or wherever you want. that's basically the... what the judge was saying. you can protest there but you can't live there. >> brown: mr. alterman, is there a legal argument opposed to that? that's exactly what the judge says. i'll just quote from it. the court is mindful of movements' first amendment rights of freedom of speech and peaceable assembly. however, and he's quoting from the supreme court, even protected speech is not equally permissible in all places and at all times. >> well i think that the judge had it wrong. i think that sleeping and occupying in the 21th century of protest causes allows people to have, to sleep there or to erect strek tours. you've been at the park on multiple times. there is no public health
issue. there was no issue regarding health or safety issues. it was well run. the people had a good neighbor policy that protected the residents of both t rismt ibeca where wall street is located afternoon also the members of the community. as well as visitors and other protestors. so i think that the mayor, the mayor's attempt to send a phalanx of police in riot gear at 1:00 in the morning and have the sanitation people throw out and destroy the property sends a clear message. that message is, you get only up to a certain point the first amendment. we don't think that that holds water. we won one. we lost one. the people will speak. on thursday the people will speak even louder because you can't kill an idea. i'm very proud to represent the occupy wall street community and the community which is building momentum nationwide.
>> brown: mr. copeland, that is the issue, isn't it? who decides where that line of first amendment rights is drawn. isn't it easy to abuse that power, as mr. alterman is is suggesting? in looking to public health or security, security concerns? >> well, certainly you don't give unfettered discretion to a city official to make this determination. that's why we're a nation of laws. that's why you go to the courts. that's why you let the judges determine it. i think this time the judge has it right. our first amendment sets out very broud protections for the content or the viewpoint of our speech. now we can criticize the president of our country. we can take extreme positions, be they communist or fascist. but we can't do anything we want. it's also a well established principle under the constitutional jurisprudence of the u.s. that you can make what's called a time, place or
manner restriction on speech. you can protest against your government but that doesn't give you the right to have a megaphone and blair this out at all hours of the night and disturb your neighbors. similarly, you can maybe take a picture of naked people. it doesn't mean you can go to a public sidewalk in a residential community and do it any time of day or night. so we have to have some sort of rules here. i think the mayor made a good point here. this space is supposed to be for the public. if you're going to take over that space and put your tents out there and have your separate little laws that you're trying to create and in your sort of ad hoc community there. you're effectively denying the general public the right there. contrary to the other fellow's assertion here, i think it's clear that many of the neighbors here weren't happy. many of the businesses weren't happy. there have been counter protests going on outside city hall. there have been numerous reports of, in fact, violence
and safety problems including rapes of some of the women there at the zuccotti park. >> brown:.... >> that's absolutely untrue. >> brown: go ahead. >> there have been no rapes of a woman. i think as a resident and a small business owner in the community as well as a lawyer representing the demonstrations, the gentleman has his facts wrong. there's no public health safety issues. there's medical on site. there's nurses on site. there are security on site. there is open and free and unfettered access to corridors. the community brings in people. it's certainly not true. again i'll bring it back to this. if mayor bloomberg was so concerned about the issues that were affecting not only the community but the health and safety issues, then why did he wait two months, number one? why did he never issue one violation until today? then finally, why after we got a court order advising the
police that they should let us in at 6:30 in the morning did he close the park until the judge made a decision? that doesn't seem to me like a.... >> brown: i was going to ask you, what is the practical impact now as a legal matter? can you appeal this? what happens to the group that was in the park? >> sometimes when you don't have a play, you wait and see what happens. there's going to be a big demonstration on thursday. we'll consider after working all night on this case what we should do with an appeal. but again the spirit and the momentum of the occupiers is very, very strong. it's well respected. and supported in this community. i would say about over 80% of the people. we look forward to taking these issues to the streets and to washington so that the people can decide what makes a fair and more equitable system. >> brown: very briefly, mr. copeland, zuccotti is a bit of a hybrid, a privately owned but public use space.
you're saying the argument would apply if the demonstrators go to a... to an actual public city park in new york? >> i think so. the judge here specifically refused to get into the complexities of answering whether this is a public forum or a limited public forum and just basically assumed that you had maximum free speech rights. even if you do, that doesn't give you the right to set up your tents and have your own sort of system of government, garbage disposal and what have you, that the city had the ability to go in there, to clean things up, and you didn't have the right to live there just because you wanted to protest there. clearly, as mr. alterman's position if it is correct and the movement is going to gain steam, et cetera, he clearly can voice those opinions. that just doesn't give them the right to take over a piece of city property or private property that's largely used by the public. >> brown: all right. we do have to leave it there. james copeland, daniel alterman, thank you both very
much. >> thank you. >> warner: still to come on the newshour, the deadlock on deficits; new allegations of abuse at penn state; access to dental care; basketball on the brink; and the story of john brown's raid. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: on wall street today, there were wide swings in the stock market much of the day, before stocks settled with modest gains. the dow jones industrial average gained 17 points to close at 12,096. the nasdaq rose 29 points to close at 2686. reports out of syria today told of a growing wave of violence. up to 90 people were killed on monday, and activists said nearly three dozen of those were soldiers and police, apparently killed by army defectors. the attacks happened in daraa in southern syria, where there was also widespread shelling. the eight-month-old uprising against president bashar assad began there.
today the leader of neighboring turkey said his country has lost all confidence in assad. >> it is not among our expectations that the assad regime will show honest, credible, courageous, and determined management. it is not among our expectations that the assad regime will meet all the demands of the people and the international community, because he has always been deceptive. >> sreenivasan: arab league officials met with members of the syrian opposition in cairo, egypt, today. the league has already suspended syria and voted to impose sanctions. in afghanistan, a new poll released today showed support for the taliban has declined. the annual survey was partly funded by the u.s. government. only 29% said their sympathies lie with the militants, down nearly 30 points in two years. at the same time, respondents said lack of security and corruption in government are major problems. the results came on the eve of a major conference of some 2,000 afghan leaders. republican presidential candidate herman cain tried today to move beyond a widely publicized interview gaffe.
it happened monday when cain met with the "milwaukee journal sentinel's" editorial board. he struggled to answer when he was asked how president obama handled the crisis in libya. >> i do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason. nope, that's a different one. i've got to go back. let's see. got all this stuff twirling around in my head. >> sreenivasan: aides said today that cain was overtired because he'd had just four hours of sleep the night before. cain has been falling in the polls in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. meanwhile, republican rival rick perry unveiled a plan for overhauling government. he called for slashing the salaries of the president and congress by half, among other things. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to margaret.
>> warner: republicans and democrats on capitol hill still seemed miles apart on a deficit reduction agreement with eight days to go before a self- mandated deadline. newshour congressional correspondent kwame holman reports. >> reporter: in the senate today, party leaders continued to point fingers at each other as the super committee closed in on a week to go to strike a deficit reduction deal. the majority leader, democrat harry reid insisted republicans won't accept a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. >> so far i've not seen indication that the republicans are willing to agree to this balanced approach. democrats are not going to take a unfair, unrealistic load directed toward domestic discretionary spending or i should say domestic discretionary spending and take it away from the military. >> reporter: the 12-member committee split evenly between the parties are tasked to find at least $1.trillion in
deficit cuts over the next decade. and senate republican lamar alexander argued his side does want a deal and has made concessions. >> republicans have put revenues on the table. anyone who knows and understands the republican party knows that the proposal that was made last week by the republican members of the super committee represents a substantial departure from what we normally would be comfortable voting for. >> reporter: the super committee has been at work for more than two months, largely out of public view. the members mandated to reach an agreement by november 23. if the panel fails, the same law that created it requires deep automatic cuts in domestic and defense spending beginning in 2013. that prospect has unnerved pentagon leaders. defense secretary leon panetta warned again monday of devastating consequences if the automatic cuts go through. in a letter to republican senator john mccain, panetta said, "we would have the smallest ground force since
1940, the smallest number of ships since 1915, and the smallest air force in its history." as the deadline looms, it was widely reported the super committee may claim savings of $700 billion no longer needed for the wars in iraq and afghanistan over the next ten years. another proposal up for consideration, a republican plan for a net tax revenue increase of nearly $300 billion in exchange for lower tax rates. house speaker john boehner called that a fair offer. >> i think that reforming our tax code both on the business side and personal side will make america more competitive and produce more economic growth. so i do believe that reforming the code is a step in the right direction. the details of how we get there, frankly, i think are yet to be worked out. >> reporter: but two republican presidential candidates, rick perry annuity gingrich, signaled they wouldn't like to see any plan that raises taxes.
meanwhile, there was bipartisan cooperation toward keeping the government operating in the short term. last night leaders agreed to spend $180 billion for five cabinet departments and a stop gap bill to fund government operations through december 16. the current funding runs out at midnight friday. >> brown: we talked with one member of the super committee last night, maryland democrat chris van hollen. we've extended invitations to all of the republicans to appear on the newshour. none was available this evening. we hope to bring you an interview with one of them this week. >> warner: now, an update on the penn state storm, as the man at the center of it speaks out. jerry sandusky, the former defensive penn state coach accused of child sex abuse defended himself publicly last night. in a telephone interview nbc's
bob costas grilled sandusky about the particulars in the 40-count indictment charging he abused eight boys over 15 years. >> i say that i am innocent of those charges. >> reporter: innocent? completely innocent? and falsely accused in every aspect? >> well, i could say that, you know, i have done some of those things. i have horsed around with kids. i have showered after workouts. i have hugged them. i have touched their leg. without intent of sexual contact. >> reporter: are you sexually attracted to young boys, to underageded boys? >> am i sexually attracted to under aged boys? >> reporter: yes. >> sexually attracted? i enjoy young people. i love to be around them. but, no, i'm not sexually attracted to young boys.
>> warner: there was also word of new accusations. the new york times reported nearly ten more alleged victims have come forward since the november 5 indictment. the scandal has sent shock waves through the university. last week the board fired legendary head football coach joe paterno and penn state president graham spanier. athletic director tim curly and the vice president for business and finance gary shultz have stepped down. both face charges of perjury and failing to report a crime. an assistant coach mike mcqueary has been placed on administrative leave. he told a grand jury that in 2002 he witnessed sandusky sodomizing a young boy in a shower and reported it to paterno. on monday nbc news reported that mcqueary had e-mailed friends insisting he did the right thing and made sure the assault stopped. there's also been fallout at the second mile. sandusky's charity to benefit needy children.
its ceo stepped down over his failure to cut off sandusky's access to kids or report to authorities after being told about the 2002 incident. all of which led pennsylvania governor tom corbett this weekend to urge tightening state law on who has responsibility to report sexual abuse of minors. >> should the lobby change? absolutely. should the law be changed? absolutely. i know members of both parties republican and democrat have already introduced measures to make that change. we have to make sure that the change in the law is one that is effective. >> warner: in the meantime the police investigation continues, and penn state has begun its own inquiry. led by trustee ken frasier, head of merck pharmaceutical. and pennsylvania senator bob casey called today for a senate hearing on how federal laws might apply in the case. we hope to have more on the continuing fallout later in the program.
>> brown: next, the first of two stories about dental care and the difficulty that many americans face getting it. newshour health correspondent betty ann bowser reports. >> reporter: it was 5:00 on a saturday morning in rural southwest virginia. by the hundreds people stood patiently in line in the freezing rain to see a dentist. for the most part, they were low wage earners with no insurance and a mouthful of problems like bobby horn. >> the worst pafern you can imagine snr horn couldn't remember the last time he saw a dentist. now at just 32 years of age, that kind of neglect has led him to judgment day. >> they want to ex-trabt... extract them all. oral surgery. they're going to get them all out. then i'm going to have dentures put back in their place.
>> reporter: like roughly one out of every two americans, horn does not have dental insurance. his case is extreme. but it illustrates a growing problem. for lots of reasons, people just aren't going to the dentist like they used to. the new president of the american dental association says they're courting disaster. >> we know there are distinct correlations between poor oral health and diabetes, poor oral health and many cardiovascular diseases. there's also a distinct correlation with women between poor oral health and low birth weight babies. >> reporter: and sometimes, although it's very rare, the consequences can be catastrophic. the death of 24-year-old kyle willis made national headlines in august after an infection in one of his teeth spread to his brain. the cincinatti resident had no insurance and no ability to pay. >> what are the barriers that prevent people from going to the dentist? some are financial. we all agree with that.
some are geographic. some basically are people are not aware of the need to go to a dentist. oral health literacy in this country is amazingly low. i had an individual sitting in my chair right here a couple of days ago. he is now unemployed. he was telling me that one thing he's really focusing on is doing a lot of preventive maintenance on his car so he can make that car last longer. i look in his mouth. he's got five broken teeth. i said, did you ever think of applying that same concept of maintenance to your mouth? he looked at me dumbfounded and said i never thought of it that way. >> reporter: but ignorance of the need for good dental care is not the only reason americans aren't getting it. the federal government has identified more than 4500 areas of this country like grundty, virginia, where there are not enough dentists. it says nearly 10,000 new providers are needed to meet
the need. the institute of medicine, an independent policy group that gives advice to the government, reported a few months ago that fewer than half of americans see a dentist each year because of access problems. the i.o.m. said there are persistent systemic barriers to make dental care hard to come by for seniors, minorities, children, and the disabled. beth merts is an assistant professor at the school of dentistry at the university of california san francisco. >> there's about 170,000 dentists in the country which is about a little over two-and-a-half dentists per 5,000 people. the problem is they're not distributed evenly in relationship to the population. >> reporter: the a.d.a. denies there is a shortage of dentists and calls it a mal- distribution problem but marts says whatever name you give it, the issue is still the same. >> what that means is that
some communities have a lot of dental providers from which they can go and get care and other communities really have none. >> reporter: the areas where there are enough dentists tend to be where residents have dental insurance or money to pay for care out of pocket. in fact, that's the model on which many dental practices are based. dental schools like this one at the university of california san francisco say some students don't want to practice in shortage areas for financial reasons. and are increasingly turning to specialties because they can make more money. it's accepted that the number of practicing dentists will start declining, just as five million children will begin to get dental care under medicaid. that's in 2014 when a provision of the new federal health care reform law kicks in. >> open up for me. >> reporter: finding a dentist who will see them is another issue. because medicaid reimbursement rates are notoriously low. >> individuals who are covered
by medicaid right now already have a very difficult time getting dental services. there's a pretty low participation by dentists in the program. so it is hard to find somebody who will accept that insurance. >> reporter: doctor calmon who practices in rochester new york accepts medicaid patients but he said he loses money. >> there are parameters that will allow us to do certain things that they'll pay for and certain things they won't pay for. i would say in this state depending on the type of practice you have and the type of ear generalist or specialist you're losing anywhere probably between 20- 70%. >> reporter: experts say in the last 25 years, the population has been growing faster than the number of graduating dentists to meet the need. and the american dental education association says the trend is continuing. >> brown: in her next >> brown: in her next story, betty ann reports on one
experiment to improve access to critical dental care by bringing it to a remote alaskan village. >> warner: be come back to the penn state story. for that we're joined by david newhouse editor of the patriot news in hash pennsylvania. his newspaper broke the story of the grand jury investigation into sandusky. welcome, mr. newhouse. this was a pretty remarkable event last night with jerry sandusky's own lawyers approval and participation he ifics of some of theestions on charges. what have you been able to learn about this? what's the legal strategy behind that? >> well,, it's very hard to know that. his attorney has not specifically said what he intended. we can only presume he was trying to somehow sort of staferj the bleeding of the relentless negative publicity we've all been experiencing since last friday.
the problem is he probably did himself more harm than good. as we just saw in what you showed before, sandusky admitted to showering with kids, horsing around, touching them, hugging them. some of these things he actually writes about in his 2000 autobiography which is is ironically called "touched: the jerry sandusky story," but obviously without the showering. all day long experts in child sex abuse have been saying that these are classic entry types of behavior for sex abuse. it's really incredible that he was allowed to go on bob costas and say those things. >> warner: has there been widespread reaction in the penn state community and what has it been? >> i think people are simply incredulous at the scope of this... of the allegations. people have also been incredulous that jerry sandusky is simply walking around town. he is out on $100,000 in
unsecured bail. the prosecution had asked for half a million in bail and an electronic ankle bracelet. they were denied that. it's been said he bought a treadmill this week. >> warner: now, why the entire almost acting as if nothing is happening or nothing is wrong. >> warner: sandusky's lawyer told interviewers last night and again today that they may be able to refute some of the allegations in the grand jury report by turning to some of the alleged victims themselves. what can you tell us about that? >> well, the victims have... they all told their storys to the grand jury. the only exception are there are two cases where there were eyewitness accounts. but the victims had not come forward. in one of those cases, sandusky's attorney said that he had located this boy. this is from the 2002 incident allegedly witnessed by mike mcqueary.
and that he was going to say that nothing hatched. we'll see... even if it does, there are six victims who came and testified before the grand jury. >> warner: has your newspaper, have your reporters, been able to yet confirm what the "new york times" reported today which is there are up to ten more at least alleged victims who have come forward to authorities since the news broke. >> we haven't confirmed that specific number. we've heard that more people have... more kids have come forward. the state police have only confirmed one. it remains to be seen how many of them actually become part of the case. because someone comes doesn't mean they will be added to the case. it's clear and it's been clear since the beginning that more victims will come forward and that the eight victims alleged by the grand jury were not going to be all of them. >> warner: there's been a big fire storm over the role of mike mcqueary.
and in the grand jury report it says he told the grand jury that he witnessed this 2002 assault in the shower. what's the significance of the email that he sent out? we reported on it. he sent it to i guess it was his players on monday night. what in general new is there on his role? >> well, i think first of all there's a misunderstanding about what a grand jury report or presentment is. a grand jury hears testimony for months and months. in this case almost... well, more than two years. they condense that testimony into, in this case 23 pages. there are some quotes in it, but there is a lot of summary. so in this instance mike mcqueary told the grand jury that he had witnessed jerry sandusky in a shower at the penn state locker rooms with this boy sexually assaulting him. and the grand jury report simply says he left and told
his father they went to joe paterno and then it kind of got kicked up the chain of command to university officials. what mcqueary... what the nbc email that nbc got yesterday said that mcqueary was telling friends that he did not simply run away. now the patriot news has actually obtained a different email, and this is... we actually just posted this story on our website. it is actually even more explicit. he sent this email early last week to a friend, expressing tremendous frustration that what the grand jury report said which is a very abbreviated version of testimony was somehow interpreted that that was all he did. he says specifically in the email that he did not necessarily physically stop sandusky, that is, for example didn't wade in like a hollywood movie hero and slug him. but that he absolutely stopped
the conduct before he left that locker room and that also he later talked to university police. he did not just kick it up the chain of command to other officials but he himself reported it to university police. >> warner: fairly briefly, i'm sorry to say, the university itself and its institutional, its situation here, are they worried about sort of institutional or legal liability? and what is this investigation that they're running designed to achieve? >> that's a very good question. there are a lot of people who have criticized the fact that the university is conducting its own investigation. they have said they'll bring an outside council, but they have not brought an independent group in. i think they're mostly looking at university policies. they've said they're not looking at criminal behavior. they're looking at how the university runs. that really is going to be once it gets beyond the criminal case of sandusky a huge question for penn state.
what kind of culture really allowed this kind of thing allegedly to go on for so long? >> david newhouse, editor of the patriot news of harris burg, thanks so much. >> warner: now, why the entire n.b.a. season is on the brink, as talks aimed at ending a lockout break down. ray suarez has the story. >> suarez: the dallas mavericks celebrated last june when they beat the miami heat for the nba title, but nobody is celebrating now. after two years of so far fruitless bargaining, the league's labor contract expired in june. owners locked out the players. talks continued, but on monday the players rejected a 50-50 split of revenues down from 57% in the old contract. billy hunter is executive director of the players' association. >> we've done everything anybody could reasonably
expect of us. but the players just felt that they had given enough. >> reporter: the union voted to disband so players can sue the league for billions of dollars in damages. nba commissioner david stern already canceled the first month of the regular season, and he warns the entire season is on brink. >> the players losing all that they have worked very hard to achieve, you know, are... it's really a tragedy. we're about to go into the nuclear winter of the nba. >> suarez: both sides, and the team's home cities, now stand to lose billions of dollars. for more on what's behind the breakdown, and what's at stake. we turn to ian thomsen, a senior writer for "sports illustrated" who closely covers the n.b.a. you just heard david stern talking about a nuclear winter. the union says the talks have broken down. are we at the point of no return? >> no, not quite, ray.
it's not all done yet. there's still about a month-and-a-half to try to save the season. i think it got a lot worse. i think it will be a lot harder for the two sides come together now that lawyers are involve. it's added another layer. there are different concerns now. the fact that a lawsuit is being filed. i think all of this makes a difficult situation more difficult. i really would be surprised if there is a season. >> suarez: is the revenue split really the main point in contention now? what are the owners demanding and what have the players offered? >> well it in a way all come down to the revenue split. the money as it always does, doesn't it, in these situations? the players have given up about $280 million next year or this year if there is a "this year." they've given that up. in return they want to have a system of their liking. they want to have the free agency that they've accustomed to. they want to be able to see the bigger market teams bid for their services. and the system that the nba wants to put in is a more
austere kind of system where the lakers, the los angeles lakers who spent more than double what the sacramento kings spent last year on players and other fees, the nba wants to narrow that gap. they want everybody to be paying basically the same, much like teams in the nfl do. they're pursuing pairity. it comes down to the players want a free market system and the owners want regulation. >> suarez: why has the players association disbanded or is on the verge of disbanding? what does that act allow them to do that they couldn't do before as a collective bargaining agent? >> well, it clearly looks like the act of a union that felt cornered and had run out of options. they felt like they had been handed this ultimatum by david stern, the commissioner, to accept this offer or else. and instead of accepting it or trying to negotiate further, they disbanded too they can file a lawsuit. they kind of tried to change
the terms of the argument. but what they've done is that act has made it more difficult now for negotiations to continue, and, you know, there's hope on the union side that this will create more leverage for them. but they're running out of time to expert that leverage. >> suarez: the average nba player's career is a little more than four years. are we looking at journeymen players who may be sacrificing what amounts to a quarter of their career if they lose this season? >> it's going to be very interesting years from now to ask these people on both sides of the negotiating table how do you feel about the way things worked out? if they end up losing the season over this. when you look at the negotiations and how they progress they were actually relatively close to coming to a deal before they seemed to break off now. you would ask them years from now, was it all worth it to lose a season when you were so
close and when you lose a season, the players are giving up $2 billion worth of income that they're going to be dividing up. i just think a lot of players as this goes on, if they lose a season, there's going to be a lot of second guessing of what's happened. i think that will happen on the owners' side too that they're going to be second guessing themselves as well. >> suarez: there's the immediate loss of income, but let's talk a little bit about the after effects. hockey lost the entire '04-'05 season. the n.p.a. played a severely trunk indicated 50-game season back in 1998. major league baseball lost pretty much half a season back in the '90s. when they do come back to play, are there after effects? are there sacrifices? are there effects that trail off into the future? >> there always are. what's so interesting about this decision, this joint decision, that's a passive decision, they weren't actively trying to come close to blowing up the season.
but that's effectively what the two sides are doing here. when they come back, if there is no season, not only will they have to deal with the consequences of all these other leagues and situations that you've discussed have had to deal with, but they're doing this during terrible economic times as we all know. the national mood is ugly at times. it's going to be very interesting to see if these doomsday predictions that have been made about big-time sports for decades now as the price of sports has gone up, the price of tickets and there's always been this talk, are fans going to keep paying these prices? they always have. it's going to be interesting now to see if they do this time. is this sort of the doomsday scenario that everybody has been talking about? the nba, the number-three league in america. they'll be coming off possibly the loss of a season during horrible times and they've really made themselves vulnerable. >> suarez: quickly before we go, are there any franchises in a 30-team league that are so weak that they may not
survive a strike? >> well, you know, there has been talk of contracting, contracting two teams. among the owners. and the obvious candidate would be the new orleans hornets who are owned by the league. they had to be bought back by the league because their owner had to sell. he needed the money. he could not find a buyer. so the league actually had to take it off his hands. that would be one team for sure to look at. >> suarez: ian thomson of sports illustrated. thanks for joining us. >> thank you, ray. >> brown: finally tonight, coming to terms with the life and legend of john brown. (train whistle) harper's ferry, west virginia. it was here at the confluence of two rivers the potomac and schenn and dough a that george washington first decided to build a federal armory in 1794 in what was then virginia, the largest slave-holding state in the young country.
and it was here on october 16, 1859, that john brown made his famous raid seeking to end slavery forever. the story is told in a new book: midnight rising: john brown and the raid that sparked a civil war. author tony horowitz joined me at harper's ferry recently to talk about a man and event that continued to resonate, fascinate and con found down to our own time. >> religious fundamentalism? the right of the individual to oppose their government? all these issues are still troubling and relevant. that's why i think brown is still with us. he worries us. what do we do with this home grown american terrorist? >> brown: where did his fervor, his hatred of slavery come from? and his sort of maniacal sense that he was right? >> he comes from a very old
school calvinist upbringing, obsessed with sin both personal and collective. and slavery is the great sin of the nation in this period. he feels this conviction that america's destiny of equality and freedom can only be fulfilled threw the destruction of this institution. he parts ways with most abolitionists who in this era are staunch pacifists. they believe in education and moral uplift as the way to defeat slavery. brown derides this as milk and water abolitionism, weak and ineffectual. to him slavery is a state of war and has to be met in kind. he's ready to fight for freedom. >> brown: the fight began in what became known as bleeding kansas, the main battle ground in the strug many over whether slavery would extend to new
territories. and for brown, it continued in the mansions of the north where he sought support and funding. >> brown is is not a lone gunman. he, after his kansas exploits, goes east in full freedom fighter persona and really touches the nerve in the north. he's got this charisma, this moral magnetism that gets people to give money and guns to his cause. >> brown: he dines at the home of ralph waldo emerson and other major figures at the time. >> he's in the lecture halls and parlors. new england. it's a little like the 1960s when you wealthy manhattanites hosting black panthers and other radicals. this rough-hun frontier warrior has this intoxicating effect on the genteel parlor radicals of the north. >> brown: the culmination was
the raid on harper's ferry planned for months at the nearby kennedy farm in maryland and carried out by a guerilla band of just 18 men. >> i think he also thought that whatever happened here, he would shock the nation. he thinks that he's striking a symbol of american power in the largest slave state in the country. he's going to stir the nation, whether he dies or not here, into confronting this great evil. i think that's what he's really after. >> brown: the town was shocked and surprised, all right. but within hours brown, some of his men and several hostages were trapped by a detachment of u.s. marines under the leadership of then colonel robert e. lee in the small engine house which became known as john brown's fort. >> it's like a bank heist gone bad. >> brown: this is a small place. but there were a lot of people crowded in. >> there were about 25 people crowded in here. by the end of it, a few of them dead and dying. no food and water.
they haven't been out for waters. there's a sort of howling mob outside surrounding them and firing pot shots. robert e. lee and the marines are preparing to batter down the door. this is john brown's last stand. >> brown: this is where, i mean, he was taken from here. >> right. the marines come and succeed in breaking in. there's a fire fight. and two of the raiders are bay netted to death. brown is wounded and captured. that's really where the military part of the story ends. >> brown: brown was arrested and taken to nearby charlestown courthouse for trial. he refused to consider an insanity defense. was he crazy? was he a mad man? >> he's often depicted as this sort of wild-eyed, wild-haired fanatic. probably insane. brown is certainly an obsess i have been.
he has this ahab quality about him. he's also very grandiose in his dreams. to the point at times where i wonder whether he was delusional. but he certainly wasn't insane in a clinical or legal sense. he knew exactly what he was doing here. in the end he achieved it. >> brown: in the end he achieved it. what's interesting is he failed at the raid. but as you write about he succeeded in the aftermath before his execution. >> this is one of many great ironies in this story. that john brown who is the man of action, who thinks words will never end slavery comes here to attack and actually he fails as a man of action. this raid is a debacle in military terms. but he triumphs through the power of his words. after the raid. and his courage in facing death. that's what really has made
him a legend. >> brown: at the trial, says horowitz, brown turned the case around and put his accusers on trial. "if it is deemed necessary that i should for fit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, "brown said, "and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, i submit. so let it be done." >> terrorist. freedom fighter. earlier we talked about whether he was crazy or a mad man. have you, after spending this time with him, come to define him in your own head? >> not really. i guess i shouldn't say that. as a writer, you know, i tie it all up in a neat bow. but i hope part of the suspense of reading this book is for readers themselves to figure out how they feel about this complicated and confounding man. i think we still struggle to understand how it is that
americans who shared a common language and culture and for the most part religion came to slaughter each other by the hundreds of thousands in the 1860s. i think john brown and his raid on harper's ferry give us a window into that story. >> brown: brown himself saw what was to come as he was taken from jail to the gal owes he hand one of his guards a note that read in part," i john brown am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood." 18 months later, the civil war began. >> warner: again, the major developments of the day. a new york judge refused to let anti-wall street protesters return to camping in a park after police drove them out
overnight. democrats and republicans traded shots over why a deficit supercommittee has failed to reach agreement, with just over a week to go. and activists in syria reported a new wave of violence, with up to 90 people killed on monday. many were soldiers killed by army defectors. online, there's more about the dentist shortage in grundy, virginia. hari sreenivasan explains. hari? >> sreenivasan: find more of betty ann's reporting on the clinic, offering free care once a year for the many uninsured residents in the heart of the appalachian mountains. margaret filed a blog post about an annual poll of the afghan public. she looks at what their answers mean for security and democracy there. find that on our world page. and watch tony horwitz read from his book on our art beat blog. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. margaret? >> warner: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll look at president obama's plans to strengthen u.s. military ties with australia, a move that would counter china's growing presence in the pacific. i'm margaret warner. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night.
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